American Tragedy: Academia Scoffs at Nanotechnology

Thursday, 30 Apr 2009 04:43 PM

By Lev Navrozov

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On April 14, 2009, I received an e-mail from Thaddeus (Ted) Paul Kochanski, Ph.D., chief scientist and executive director, IEEE-GEMS Repositor . . . and so on. His scientific and technological degrees and posts occupy almost a full page at the end of his e-mail.

He begins, “I don’t know about your technical background and so I can’t know at what level to discuss this issue.”

My “technical background”? When I finished secondary school in Soviet Russia, I had to matriculate at an “institute of higher learning,” since otherwise I would be called up for military service. I regarded the Soviet humanities as unbearable propaganda.

My goal in life was to help the free countries defend themselves against slavery states like Stalin’s Russia or Hitler’s Germany. Hence my interests in science and technology, which was why I matriculated at the giant MEI (Moscow Energy Institute).

Attending the lectures was obligatory, but I skipped them, studied on my own, and got away with this, since I got top examination grades.

In the math exams at the end of the second year, I drew a ticket to demonstrate one of the theorems of Newton’s Infinitesimal Calculus. I wrote down my demonstration but as I began to present it to the professor (Professor Ryzhkov), he took it for sheer abracadabra: Was I insane?

The thing was that the demonstrations of Newton’s theorems were presented at our lectures, which I had skipped. I started my demonstration again from the beginning, stressing the logic of it. He was stunned: Was I another Newton?

There was a huge special department at the Moscow Energy Institute focusing on the development of a nuclear bomb. For that project, they wanted mathematicians trained in their own department.

Professor Ryzhkov said he would recommend me to that special department. For me to turn down the offer? Insane! Or perhaps even dangerous! I could not tell them, “Look, my mission in life is to save the free countries. Not to develop the latest weapons against them.”

I left the Moscow Energy Institute — after first having enrolled (to avoid being drafted into the Soviet army) at the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages.

I would thus continue my studies of English — so I reasoned — because the language the free world spoke was English, not German or French.

Now, let’s get back to see how Kochanski, professor, Ph.D., director, etc., “discusses the issue.” In my writings on nanoweapons, I have been quoting Eric Drexler, whom I knew personally.

Kochanski says: “Suffice it to say — nano is not magic — the fundamental laws of physics apply to things nano . . . and they don’t permit most of what Drexler is pushing as science.”

Nanotechnology started off in 1959, and in 1986, that is, 27 years later, Drexler published his book, which made the words “nano” and “nanotechnology” well known.

In China, his book was published on the Internet in English, with some places translated into Chinese. Today, in 2009, that is 23 years later, Kochanski explains that “nano is not magic, the fundamental laws of physics apply to nano, and they don’t permit most of what Drexler is pushing as science”!

Drexler, you see, is not worth Kochanski’s criticism as a scientist — he is only pushing for science something that is not science!

Kochanski’s next sentence goes back to Drexler, “As for Drexler — I think it is sufficient to note that [the] Ted Williams head was deep frozen in a vat of liquid nitrogen in New Mexico by the same crowd that is talking about nano-super weapons.”

Well, go see Yahoo!: “Ted” Williams, an American left fielder in baseball, died at the age of 83 in 2002. As a famous man, he wanted his body preserved after his death.

“So, according to his will, his son John-Henry had, after his father’s death, his father’s body flown to Scottsdale, Ariz., where his head and his body were duly separated and placed separately into cryonic suspension (neuropreservation).”

So, contrary to Yahoo! as of today, Kochanski claims that Ted’s son John-Henry belonged to “the same crowd that is talking about nano superweapons,” though, to begin with, in 2002 John-Henry had probably never heard of nanoweapons. Nor is it clear what the neuropreservation of his dead father, according to his father’s will, had to do with “nano superweapons.”

Then follows the longest paragraph of Kochanski’s e-mail — he enumerates the U.S. institutions doing nano research, including research universities “which are a bit more reliable places of real science than Drexler’s shop.”

Before this paragraph, professor Kochanski had been putting down nanotechnology and its founder Drexler. Now he is showing how it is being developed in the United States (owing to such scientists as Kochanski, with his countless degrees and posts).

Yes, it is possible that these institutions and their professors such as Dr. Kochanski, receive every year thousands of times more money than “Drexler’s shop” has received since 1986. But what are the results, except clusters of self-contradictions and slander like Kochanski’s piece I am quoting?

Also, what about China’s nanoweapons? “So could the Chinese sneak some nano super weapons from us? Well, you can never say never in science.”

Earlier, Kochanski ridiculed Drexler (whose book was published in China on the Internet), to say nothing about “the same crowd that is talking about nano superweapons.” Now it turns out that the Chinese can only “sneak [!] some [!] nano superweapons from us”!

But who cares about “some” nano superweapons, “sneaked” by China? Kochanski is “much more worried about . . . Electromagnetic Pulse”, which can devastate “our electric power grid and a lot of our command and control infrastructure.” Besides, “the current generation of Iranian missiles has sufficient capabilities if fired from a freighter off our coast.” Why, “the Sun might even do it to us with a massive Coronal Mass Ejection.”

You see? Why should we worry about the post-nuclear weapons of China, such as molecular nanoweapons, if the sun might have destroyed mankind in the previous 100 centuries or may destroy it in the coming 10,000 years?

The last two sentences of Kochanski’s piece are devoted to me personally. He thinks I do a “disservice by promoting fear without providing the necessary references and background.”

Well, I do provide both. But Kochanski is sure that he annihilates both by representing Drexler as an impudent charlatan and “those talking about nano super weapons” as “the same crowd” one of whom had his father’s head frozen in a vat of liquid nitrogen in New Mexico.

Putting aside the question of Iran or of the sun destroying the United States, the illiteracy and narrow-mindedness of Kochanski’s essay with all his degrees and posts point to the inevitable defeat/annihilation of the United States in China’s attack.

Kochanski is one of those with the minds of nursery children whom the U.S. institutions of scientific and technical learning produce, along with all their degrees, posts, and money. These “academics” convert all military realities into childish fantasies, adorned with scientific and technological words.

Kochanski’s last paragraph, addressed to me, begins, “Nevertheless, I enjoy reading your pieces. . . .”

How can he enjoy reading them if he understands nothing except that those like me are a threat to his career, and he must discredit Drexler in order to discredit me?

No, I am not writing in any specific field of science or technology. We have named our nonprofit, “Center for the Survival of Western Democracies, Inc.”

This is my only field, which should incorporate, if necessary, any other field from Newton’s Infinitesimal Calculus to Drexler’s nanotechnology (much as Kochanski strives to destroy Drexler by publicly uttering inane inventions about the founder of nanoscience and nanotechnology).

You can e-mail me at navlev@cloud9.net.

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